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Microsoft Beam is now 'Mixer,' new video co-stream features coming soon

Starting today, Beam.pro will be no more. Beam will now be known as "Mixer," or "Mixer.com," as Microsoft asserts its intentions to take on Amazon's Twitch.tv at a global level.

The intent behind the Mixer brand is to emphasize the community aspects of the service across Xbox Live and Windows 10. Soon you will also be "mix" your stream with up to three friends, according to Microsoft, combining four feeds, and four chat channels into a single stream. But wait, that's not all!

Co-streaming, Xbox One dashboard page

Leveraging Mixer's industry-leading low latency, co-streams utilizing Mixer's faster than light (FTL) stream protocol will display in near-real time to viewers, providing a brand new perspective on cooperative streaming. Naturally, the implications for collaborative play and eSports spectating is huge, and because Mixer is connected directly to Xbox Live and Windows 10, it gives Microsoft a unique opportunity to get a leg up on Twitch.

Additionally, Mixer will soon be directly integrated into the Xbox One dashboard, under a new page to the right of the home screen. Here, Microsoft will display content and coverage from across the service, whether it's popular and trending streamers, or eSports channels featuring Gears of War, Forza, and Halo.

In the future, you should expect Xbox (and maybe even Windows and Surface) to begin using Mixer as the exclusive location of its future live streams.

New apps for iOS and Android (and maybe Windows?)

Mixer will also debut a new app, called "Mixer Create," which is the service's take on mobile screen streaming and live feed streaming. Users will be able to stream their camera directly to Mixer, similar to Twitter's Periscope service, broadcasting live across Xbox, the respective Mixer apps, and the Mixer website. It will also leverage Mixer's FTL codec, making it far faster than competing services.

We asked about the possibility of Mixer Create hitting Windows 10 phones in the future, but as you might expect, it's not in the company's immediate plans. Xbox is going where the users are first, which sadly, isn't Windows 10 Mobile.

E3 2017 and the future

Co-streaming might require FTL, but Beam told us that the upload speed needed to achieve FTL is decreasing all the time. The service is activating new servers on a routine basis, as demand swells from users across Windows 10 and Xbox Live. (Let's not forget that Project Scorpio will also support native 4K streaming.)

We were told that today marks the beginning of a massive marketing push for Mixer. Microsoft is aiming to make Mixer the ultimate place to view E3 2017 coverage, with exclusive reveals and interviews, huge giveaways, and more. Mixer will also have its own booth at E3 in Los Angeles next month for the first time, introducing itself to the world as a standalone entity, rather than a simple Xbox Live feature.

Mixer is going to stream for six hours to celebrate the relaunch of the service starting at 11 am PT (2 pm EST/7 pm BST) and culminating in a special interactive firework display at around 9.30 pm PT (12.30 am EST/ 5:30 am BST).

Huge potential for Mixer

Mixer is, in my opinion, one of Microsoft's most exciting ventures to date. The raw potential is palpable, thanks to the direct integration into Windows 10 and Xbox One, allowing for easy streaming setups, 4K on Scorpio, making expensive capture cards unnecessary, and unique co-streaming features, which will enable new experiences.

Taking on Twitch, and perhaps one day, YouTube, will be an insurmountable task. If Microsoft can actually make it work, it would be an incredibly impressive feat. But Twitch is already responding. Amazon's streaming service debuted its own interactive SDK recently, which is very obviously a direct response to Mixer's interactive SDK, allowing viewers to affect a game directly.

The competition in the streaming space just got incredibly interesting. It remains to be seen whether or not Mixer can make a dent in Twitch's utter dominance of the sector, but considering Mixer's service appears to be objectively superior in various ways, Microsoft is certainly off to a good start.

Follow the Windows Central Mixer channel

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

156 Comments
  • So when are they going to rebrand to a name that is not applicable to kitchen or DJ equipment?
  • Mixer is a grown up word for a social gathering where people can make new acquaintances. 😄
  • Yup.
    You have Tinder, Grindr and Mixer!
    Lol
  • I'd have preferred is to be called "Canada Dry Ginger Ale" as that's my favorite mixer
  • This name sucks!
  • Beam was way better....Mixer sounds weird..
  • What's so funny about this is if the original name was "mixer" and then it was rebranded to "beam" these same people who are saying Mixer sucks would be arguing that Beams sucks Mixer sounded so much better.  I always thought is was relatively young people who visited these sites who had vision.  But they sound like old people who hate change.  Any sign of change then the moans and groans come out.
  • well for my opinion mixer aint good name for streaming service... so beam is better than mixer until someone else name it better
  • And I have to say Mixer is more relevant for a streaming service.  So we'll differ.  Looks like a mix of people getting to together.  It looks like a gathering of a mix of people playing games.  It looks like a mix of people all in one place.  I suppose we can beam everyone in one place.  It's all in one's perspective.  But I still stand my ascertain.  If the name was previously Mixer and changed to Beam people would now complaining how much they dislike the name Beam. 
  • Microsoft took a company with great branding and awareness and restarted with something not so obvious. They really should have kept it as Beam. Then again, who are we kidding as MSFT does this all the time almost every company they've acquired. Look at Wunderlist being rebranded as To-Do, and SwiftKey being rebranded as Word Flow Keyboard.
  • Honestly, one doesn't sound better than the other. People heard beam first so they're used to it.
  • I kinda liked the name Beam better
  • Yes, the BEAM name was definitely better. What the hell is "Mixer"?!
  • Beam is a train brand in northern Europe.
  • Lol. First it was SkyDrive and now BEAM.
  • Man, I still miss the name SkyDrive. It was way better than OneDrive. They really should've stuck with the former. All they had to do is call is "Microsoft SkyDrive" in markets where Sky Broadcasting was litigious, and continue to call it SkyDrive everywhere else.  I like Beam better than Mixer too, but I guess they probably didn't l ike the fact that they had to use the .pro suffix instead of .com. It's just odd, though, that they spend the last year promoting Beam only to change it now and not because they have to.
  • Sky didn't approve, and the courts agreed with Sky... Unfortunately.
  • It's way more than that. Microsoft is always renaming things. It's ridiculous.
  • It was way better mixer is just dumb
  • I never cared for the "beam.pro" name - it seemed to be generic and trying too hard at the same time. I don't know that I like "Mixer" much better, but I do think it sounds more distinctive.  
  • And "Twitch.tv" isn't generic how? They're both words you don't see very often. They're both simple, catchy, 1 syllable words. Mixer is just a dumb 2 syllable word which you hear far more often.
  • I absolutely think that twitch.tv is a dumb name. Oddly, I don't believe that means Microsoft's service needs an equally dumb name. The more I think about "Mixer," the more I like it. You don't. I'm probably not going to convince you. That's fine.
  • I always read that as Beam dot pro or Beam Pro. It's a cool name!
  • Microsoft really needs help with branding...but how hard can it be?? Beam really is an easy name to use...
  • Constant Rebranding..... No Marketing🙄
  • Honestly. It makes me wonder if MS even has a game plan for their products.
  • For example.... Google's new whiteboard, and Surface hub....
    Which do you think will see more marketing, and market penetration?
    Well, MS seems to think products like Surface Hub need no marketing, and office IT organizations with seek it out.. (WRONG!).....
    Meanwhile, I just opened up my LinkedIn app (amazing we still have one), and B💥💥M! There's an ad for Googles whiteboard... When was the last time we ever heard anything about Surface Hub?🤔🤔🤔
    ........
    Hey, MS. Maybe you should rebrand Surface Hub if you want to see more adoption🙄
  • Here's a question: DO they want to see more adoption right now? I honestly don't know the answer...for all we know, they're already selling all the units they can produce in a timely fashion. Also: is their Surface Hub strategy similar to their strategy with other devices? Are they trying to pave the way for HP or whoever to make their own devices in that category?  
  • OMG!.. That sad excuse again.. Lol. Why do you guys think that MS can't produce as much product as needed for any case? It has nothing to do with that.. MS outsources production. Their companies can handle anything MS throws at them. All MS has to do is commission more to be made, and it's a done deal.... And, what are we talking about? "how do we know MS wants to sell their products?"" that's just dumb, but it's also a little true.... What is the point of spending that many resources on making a product just so nobody significant will ever have it? Well, Band comes to mind, so you're right about that. But, let's not fool ourselves into thinking MS couldn't have flooded the market with Bands, if need be... But, come on, man.. It's the same old ****. MS makes a great product, or service, and does nothing with it, only to see It's competitors run with the idea.. It's BS, and we shouldn't be overthinking the situation, and making up excuses for MS's poor marketing, and lack of enthusiasm to gain market share..
  • It wasn't an excuse - it was a question. There's plenty of evidence that MS see itself as a hardware company second, and would rather produce a handful of pilot devices and let OEMs fill out the market with other Windows devices. I wouldn't presume to know the details of their manufacturing process - I will defer to your obvious expertise on the matter.
  • Right, touché. I see your point....
    I'm just saying that in all of MS's "turns", "do overs", and "try again",,, there is some bad (or lack of) decision making we should at least acknowledge...
  • You're definitely right about that - the state of mobile is the most obvious example. I just have no idea what MS's expectations for the Surface Hub even are, let alone whether they're being met.
  • Another product to disappear into thin air... What's funny is It's under the Surface Branding.. I thought it was gonna get the full Surface treatment, and support.
  • Hmmm... While understandable... Yet... With revenue constantly climbing for them... They are doing something right; yes, even with the turns, do overs, etc. Lots of their "projects" are for learning and knowledge purposes. A company as big as it is can afford to.
  • Wrong. They do not outsource the production of the Surface Hub. It is built in America by American workers in a Microsoft factory in Wilsonville, Oregon. Very maticulate in the production quality.  Unlike that Google white board that is completely made in China.  And yes Microsoft  are selling them faster than they can make them. Last time I checked there is a several month wait to get one.  To be honest they probably did misstep and didn't think the demand would be as high as it is for the Hub. I suspect if it continues to see such large requests for the device than the expansion in  that American factory may happen at some point.
  • Do you have more information on this MS factory? Link?
  • @rodneye(ANNOYING)j Go work for MS since you know better than they do! For facks sake!!!
  • Good advice.
  • I think you have got it the wrong way around. Google uses their monopolies to push people in to their services. Smart people research and buy.
  • It doesn't matter what Google does... Fact is whatever GoogApple, and Samsung do, it works..... No need for drawn out analysis. It's not that hard.
  • Of course it works. When you control the information highway and can control which news, services and products the consumer sees. You get all people who don't know better.
  • Apple doesn't have this luxury that you say Google has, and neither does Samsung... They do just fine.... What's your "excuse" for MS?... I know you have one🙄
  • No, apple has word of mouth which is better and is what Microsoft smartly aims at. Samsung has the biggest marketing budget in the world and has almost no earnings compared to their expenses. Your examples actually strengthen what I'm talking about. Look at android... It has 80-90% of the market and hardly anyone makes money. Microsoft makes more than most... That is what you get with throwing money on just advertising crap.
  • Mobile is where it's at. Get real. Just keep telling yourself that MS is fine, and the others are lucky... Right
    .......
    I might be a huge MS fan, but I'm not stupid... When they **** up, they **** up, and I'm not gonna sit here and make up excuses for them. That's your job, not mine.... That we both can agree on. 😂😂😂😂
  • Yes, mobile is important. But Microsoft will rather make money by being smart than spend money and fault like almost all android manufacturers. You are talking about luck, not me.
  • If MS thought mobile was important,,,, they wouldn't be in the situation they are in now, with mobile.... Here's where you pull out all those age old, played out, chicken/egg excuses for MS..... Let's hear it for the millionth time. Go ahead. Lol
  • They are in an excellent situation. They are making tons of money off it and they have a great system for the fans and enterprises. They arent aiming for a massmarket of their own system since others can do that for them. In the mean time they are perfection their own os without burning through cash like android manufacturers have to.
  • Ok. To be fair, you're right. MS is not in a bad situation OVERALL, and I never meant to imply that... But, mobile is where it's at, and MS is not there RIGHT NOW. Are they doing things to change that? Most definitely.... I think MS isn't a bad company, rather I think they aren't the company fans want them to be. Fair enough?
  • MS is in the center of almost all ecosystems... Apple relies on them for most backend and the Office suite has a lot of users on Android... The only thing is that their own phones arent put first, but they do get enough attention. My phone is stable as a rock and I can do everything I need with it with ease. It gets more updates than any other OS and it is soon two years old. That is better than almost all Android phones.
  • Every Android phone is better supported through Google Play Services. It is only a matter of time before new apps stop being compatible with your Windows phone. When Microsoft stops supporting them, app support is also lost.
  • No.
  • Windows phones have not received a meaningful update in years. Just bug fixes since W10M was a train wreck. How long before current devices aren't compatible with new apps? A year, maybe two?
  • Yes we have, sorry. You are wrong as usual.
  • What? A new share icon!
  • No, and you would know what has gotten better if you had any kind of experience with it.
  • I have experience with it. Just bug fixes. You are already not getting new apps, this article is an example of even Microsoft not supporting Windows phone. How can you continue to support something even Microsoft doesn't support!
  • But, in the end it has no apps.. That's the problem. So,
  • Not really a problem actually. It has plenty of apps.
  • LMFAO❗ WHAAAAAT❓❓❓❓❓❓
    😂😂 🤣😂 🤣🤣🤣🤣😂 🤣😂 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂 🤣🤣🤣😂😂😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆 🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😁😁😁😀😀😀😀😀😀 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You cra cra cra cra cra cra cra cra.
  • did you read all the article?
  • "We were told that today marks the beginning of a massive marketing push for Mixer. Microsoft is aiming to make Mixer the ultimate place to view E3 2017 coverage, with exclusive reveals and interviews, huge giveaways, and more. Mixer will also have its own booth at E3 in Los Angeles next month for the first time, introducing itself to the world as a standalone entity, rather than a simple Xbox Live feature. Mixer is going to stream for six hours to celebrate the relaunch of the service starting at 11 am PT (2 pm EST/7 pm BST) and culminating in a special interactive firework display at around 9.30 pm PT (12.30 am EST/ 5:30 am BST)." Can you read?
  • Better question, "ARE YOU NEW HEAR?"""...... You think "Mixer" is the beginning, and end, of marketing issues at MS?... 😂😂😂😂😂 Get real..... So, I guess you think this is supposed to change my entire perspective about MS, and marketing?... Right.
  • Stay on topic. I never claimed anything beyond pointing out how ridiculously ignorant your comment was based on the contents of the article. At no point did I say, "Hey, change your entire perspective." Seriously, do you have reading comprehension? You're setting up a straw man (a poor one at that, may I add). I never made that argument, so stop attacking that perspective. No one claimed that perspective so you're proving nothing. I mean really... you go on with poorly researched assertions, factually incorrect statements, and poorly formed arguments in a vast majority of your posts. Whatever point you're trying to make will never be heard. All you are doing is providing folks like myself a soapbox to actually dispel stupid thoughts that a lot of people have, yet are too smart to actually voice. So, I guess you're providing a service for Microsoft in a way. So... maybe I should say good job instead?
  • Nope.. Try again.... Marketing. Get it through your thick skull.. Marketing is key... If you don't think so, whatever, but all that waste of time BS trash you just attempted to make yourself feel better with, isn't gonna change the fact... How many times do I need to repeat it to you? Do you need to hear it again?
  • Ugh, no. No one needs to hear it again. You've given enough opportunities to show how ignorant your views are. Seriously. Marketing helps. Yes, I understand that. But You can't market something that isn't ready. I believe you've already mentioned how there are no apps somewhere else, right? Could you imagine if they spent millions of dollars to market a product people will just return because there are no apps? Oh, right, that happened already without spending millions and they're not dumb enough to think spending money on commercials will somehow stop people from returning phones due to no apps. Do you need me to repeat that to get it through your thick skull? Seriously. I already showed how stupid your argument is. There's no need to rehash it by saying "marketing." Marketing isn't magic. It won't sell a product that isn't ready. You're just a couch potato quarter back. If you were really so brilliant that you could somehow lift a multibillion dollar company's struggling product line, i somehow doubt you'd only be spouting your toxic complaints on a forum. Do you think Microsoft hasn't heard these ideas hundreds of times? Do you think you're somehow unique and can't see what people who literally spent years studying this industry can't see? I'm dumbfounded by the absolute ignorance that is spouted by people like you. I applaud you for being brave enough to voice your stupidity, but it only needs to be shot down once. Doing so repeatedly is a waste of your time and mine.
  • Wow, you just wrote all that?
    You're definitely in love with me💜💜💜💜💜💜💜
  • Awww... was I that obvious that I had a thing for idiots too stupid to tie their own shoes?
  • You're gonna spoil your dinner, sweet cheeks..... Maybe you should try some cinnamon?
  • Wait... are we just writing random sentences now? If that's the best you can do, I don't have time for this.
  • So, you're saying you're not hungry? Well, you need to make up your damn mind! Be a man! Try the damn cinnamon, or keep your trap fastened. Damn, man. You gotta be the most hard headed lettuce cruncher on the internet. You got issues, son.
  • Strange name
  • Looks like Microsoft loves including the word mix lately in their product or brand names... Re'mix' 3D, Story re'mix' now 'mix'er...
  • it may have been done on purpose. like putting 'i' in front of everything...
  • Not to forget Office 'Mix'
  • Not sure about the rebranding; I feel like Beam was just starting to get some brand recognition, at least among the gamers I talk to.  You would think they would have done this alongside the big push onto Xbox One and Windows 10 a few months back. 
  • They definitely wouldn't have wanted to wait much longer. Ideally, the rebrand would have happened a little earlier, but I think it's not *quite* too late yet.
  • Ugh, is there going to be a way to disable the tab on Xbox? I have 0 interest in streaming, and this seems really intrusive. 
  • In an ideal world, you'd be able to reject the update and stay with the version you like. But Microsoft doesn't care what you want, so they'll force it on you like they have been doing for years.
  • Honestly, if that's true, it might be enough to push me to PlayStation. It's a full page ad for crying out loud!
  • Or have both? Me and buds have both and have gaming parties on either.
  • Microsoft strikes again with terrible name choices. I get it, the service is all about mixing streams together, but giving the service itself this generic name is yet again a bad decision by Microsoft.
  • Beam wasn't exactly inspired. For example, there's a service I use on my local train service when I go to London that's also called Beam. Fairly generic.
  • So, why did they use it in the first place????????????????????
  • Microsoft bought their brand and services... 
  • They didn't, it was an acquisition, someone else called it beam.
  • Right. I forgot about that. I see.
  • Some start-up names itself Beam and you blame Microsoft?
  • 😂😂😂😂 You really think your comments are gonna get you what you want? I think you don't understand who you're "challenging"... Are you new hear?
    What devices do you currently use?
  • Wasn't that its name when MS acquired it?
  • More stupid Microsoft rebranding. Why do they constantly feel the need to rename everything?
  • Well, it's simple... They are blind. They don't see.... They don't market their products, and services, correctly, and they don't see that's the reason they have relatively slow adoption compared to thier peers... Their blindness skips over that FACT, and they pursue other solutions, such as constant rebranding to attract attention... Yes, it's just as you say..... "Stupid"
  • No, it is smart. Beam isn't a protected brand anywhere and the .pro adress made people confused.
  • Always an excuse... So what excuse are we gonna use for this brands next rebadging?
    ......
    Or the better question is,,, if that's the case why did MS use Beam in the first place? ... And, why, so many times, do they make this mistake? Why do they get it wrong so many times, and why do thier competitors get it right practically every time?????? Hummm,, why❓ 🤔🤔🤔
  • No excuse, just facts that you don't like.
  • Yeah, but nobody is arguing with your "facts"... I'm saying that why do your facts, and excuses, always point towards MS not doing the correct thing in the first place, and more so, why do your facts, and excuses, not explain why others aren't negatively affected as much as MS is????
    .........
    Come on, dude. Quit the BS. You're trying to convince the wrong dude... At some point you have to admit to yourself that MS 1. Makes some stupid decisions, and 2. Suffers from inaction on their part.. SMDH. Let's get real.
  • Just look at the numbers and stop with the "excuses" part. You might see things more clearly. Marketing is NOT as good as word of mouth and Microsoft is NOT interested in engaging with a race to the bottom with cheap systems like Android.
  • But Microsoft has even worse word of mouth than marketing, in fact the majority of its word of mouth in the consumer sector is negative.
  • Exactly, which is what they have been working on for the last years and which is also starting to show some effect. There are even MS-positive articles on TheVerge these days which would not happen a few years ago. They are succeeding.
  • Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait A GOT DAMB MINUTE!
    Have you lost your mind?
    ............
    Marketing is not as good as word of mouth?😂😂😂 Do you work for MS? Because, that's the most FOOLISH BS I've read all year long.... Ummmmmm, how the french toast is "word of mouth" supposed to start if consumers don't even know a product exists in the first place?🤔🤔.... What? You can't be serious. Marketing is the FIRST STEP❗ Nothing else follows if marketing doesn't happen first. I can't believe we're even having this stupid conversation.... What, what do you think MS builds a product, consumers see it in their dreams, wakeup, and go tell everyone about it?....... You cra cra cra cra. Your physical address must be:
    -
    Giddora Naivenson
    Delusional dr. #236
    Redmond, WA 98052
  • well, they *did* have marketing. just not at the level that you wanted. because they weren't stupid. they had ads at their own stores and on their own websites. so it existed. but they only were pushing it to the audience they wanted to reach. so they were smart about it.
  • Dude, seriously, do *any* kind of research. Beam wasn't started by Microsoft. Its *extremely* common, almost expected, that when a company is acquired, they generally get re-branded to fit into the new company's vision.
  • Don't mind him...
  • No, don't mind the guy who believes WP, and marketing, shouldn't have had anything to do with each other. Right.
  • Microsoft wasting money on an incomplete product. Yeah, sounds brilliant. If they pushed Windows 10 Mobile as is, it would fail and would have zero chance of recovery in the future. As it stands, it has a chance, but its still not ready. They're hurting themselves with how slow they're going, but that's a different problem. Marketing was never what held Windows on mobile back. To assume otherwise is short-sighted and silly.
  • It isn't incomplete, but yeah. Pushing it is just stupid. Why not keep working on it and let it live on its own. Enterprises like it and it has a fan base which also likes it... No need to push for a mass market.
  • 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
  • use your words. those don't translate on everyone's machine, particularly work ones. so all i see are boxes.